Renault-Nissan alliance takes Google Android for a drive
Renault’s alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi recently announced it would start equipping its cars with the Android operating system to make dashboards smart.
Under a deal with web giant Google, the Renault-led group will begin incorporating the most widespread operating system into its vehicle dashboards starting from 2021. The group is the world’s largest alliance of cars by sales figures.
The main objective is to offer drivers the same experience in their cars that smartphone users have on their devices, said the French-Japanese alliance’s business development chief, Hadi Zablit.
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi sold 10,6 million vehicles worldwide in 2017 and will give drivers access to the hugely popular Google Maps while driving.
Drivers will also have access to the artificial intelligence-powered Google Assistant, which will make it possible to download applications from the Google Play Store.
Zablit said the objective is to offer customers “a digital continuity between the car and the outside world”. He also said drivers will not be restricted to Google, and that they will be able to download other operating systems, including Apple iOS.
In China where Google is blocked, the auto alliance will offer drivers unspecified alternatives.
The agreement is the first of its kind, with Bloomberg
News reporting that many auto makers have long tried to keep Google and Apple at arm’s length, hoping to keep control of such valuable data as a driver’s whereabouts, driving patterns, shopping preferences and infotainment use.
Zablit said the agreement was just one of several steps in a collaborative effort with Google.